The Centre on Monday introduced the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2018 in the Lok Sabha, ANI reported. On Sunday, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board had said that it would approach the Supreme Court if the bill is passed in the Rajya Sabha.
In September, the Union Cabinet had approved the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights in Marriage) Ordinance, 2018, after failing to get Parliament to pass legislation on the matter. The ordinance criminalises the practice of Muslim men divorcing their wives by uttering the word “talaq” three times in any form – spoken, written, or via electronic communication. It also has a provision for a three-year jail term for men who violate the law.
The bill has earlier faced stiff resistance in the Rajya Sabha. Several Opposition lawmakers called for it to be sent to a select committee for close scrutiny. Opposition parties led by the Congress had concerns about the jail term the bill proposed.
In November, the Supreme Court had refused to hear a batch of petitions challenging the validity of the ordinance. The court had observed that the Winter Session of Parliament was nearing and that ordinances lapse if Parliament fails to pass them as legislation within six weeks of reassembly.
The Lok Sabha, which resumed proceedings at 3 pm after a ruckus involving the treasury and Opposition benches over the Rafale deal, passed the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016, that was tabled by Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.
The Congress also moved a privilege motion in the Lok Sabha against Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the controversy surrounding the Rafale deal, PTI reported. During the Zero Hour, Mahajan said she was considering the matter.
Parliament had been adjourned on Friday too after commotion over the Supreme Court’s refusal to order a Central Bureau of Investigation inquiry into the defence agreement between Inia and France.
Legislators from the Telugu Desam Party, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and the Congress rushed to the well of the House as soon as the Question Hour began. The Telugu Desam Party MPs demanded special category status for Andhra Pradesh, the AIADMK chanted slogans against the construction of a dam on the Cauvery river, and the Congress MPs accused the government of misleading the Supreme Court on the Rafale aircraft deal.
Bharatiya Janata Party legislators stood on their benches and shouted slogans against Congress President Rahul Gandhi, demanding that he apologise for making allegations related to the Rafale deal. Speaker Sumitra Mahajan then adjourned the House till noon.
Congress MP Ranjeet Ranjan and Communist Party of India (Marxist) MP Mohammed Salim had earlier submitted a notice in the Lok Sabha for adjournment of proceedings over the controversy.
After the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill was passed in the Lower House, the Speaker adjourned the proceedings for the day.
Meanwhile, the Rajya Sabha was adjourned for the fifth straight day after Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, AIADMK, and Congress MPs stormed into the well of the house and chanted slogans. While the Congress MPs were protesting the Rafale agreement, the DMK and AIADMK wanted a permanent solution to the Cauvery water dispute between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
Rajya Sabha chairperson Venkaiah Naidu admitted a notice by Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on price rise, and another by Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien and Samajwadi Party’s Ram Gopal Yadav on the agrarian crisis. Azad said he had also given a notice for discussion over the government allegedly misguiding the top court, but Naidu said the matter was being heard by the court.
Amid slogans from the treasury benches, Naidu remarked: “What’s going on?” and adjourned the House for the day.
Hours before the commencement of proceedings on Monday, Congress MP Sunil Jakhar had moved a privilege motion against Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Lok Sabha on the Rafale deal, The Indian Express reported. In the Rajya Sabha, Rashtriya Janata Dal MP Manoj Jha moved a motion against Attorney General KK Venugopal.
Apart from the triple talaq bill, other bills that will be introduced in Parliament include the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016, the New Delhi International Arbitration Centre Bill, 2018 and the Consumer Protection Bill, 2018.